2021 Trauma & Resilience Virtual Conference

Virtual trainings to understand trauma and build resilience

July 19-23, 2021

Starr's virtual conference consisted of 20 virtual sessions delivered in focused topics surrounding larger trauma-informed, resilience-focused themes - packed full of practice-based resources for immediate implementation.

All conference attendees have unlimited access to the conference content for 1 month following the event, during which time credit towards a Starr certification, recertification, and CE/CEUs can be awarded.

This powerful virtual conference is designed for helping professionals who work with children, adolescents, and families including, but not limited to: teachers, school administration and staff, psychologists, social workers, counselors, and hospice workers. We hope you walk away feeling even more Driven to Heal the children, families, and communities you serve!

Video replay will be available on StarrPass starting August 20, 2021.

Conference Sessions

Presenters:

  • Dr. Caelan Soma, chief clinical officer
  • Elizabeth Carey, president & CEO
  • Personal Reflections from Starr Staff

Session Description:

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the resilience of the human spirit. In this introductory and keynote session, Elizabeth Carey and Dr. Caelan Soma will share and celebrate how child caring practitioners and organizations like Starr Commonwealth, and the many they serve, rose to the occasion to create countless silver linings amidst the increased stress and heartache caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, racial disparities, and more. Throughout their review, they will also cast a spotlight on the many signs of hope that continue to shed a positive light on the future health of children, families, and communities, and our collective return to better.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how individuals and organizations have played a role in building resilience throughout the pandemic
  • Identify examples of silver linings in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and societal unrest
  • Share reasons to remain hopeful and confident in our return to better with colleagues, clients, students, and more.

Lachanda Garrison, DoDEA Teacher of the Year

Lachanda Garrison is a 2nd grade teacher leader at Bahrain Elementary School in Manama, Bahrain where she teaches a diverse group of international and U.S. military-connected students. Her 13 years as an educator also includes teaching 1st and 3rd grade, multi-age grades, and as an instructional coach in both elementary mathematics and literacy.

Lachanda believes weaving her students’ stories and identities into lessons is the best instructional tool, ensuring all students receive an equitable education. She meets students’ needs by being trauma-informed, resilience-focused, and culturally responsive so students can learn and thrive both inside and outside of the classroom. Because of these beliefs, Lachanda’s students advocate for their learning, celebrate one another’s differences and cultures, and empathize for those around them.

Session Description:

In this session, participants will learn more about the adversities, traumas, and resiliency that military-connected children and families experience.  Participants will hear first-hand stories on what it is like to be a military child, student, spouse, service member, and educator.  Participants will also learn different tools, supports, and organizations that can be used to support our military children and families.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Participants will get a glimpse into the life of a military child.
  • Participants will hear stories from military-connected families, educators, and service members.
  • Participants will hear anecdotes on how to support military-connected children and their families.

 

Panelist:

  • Becca Gerlach, LMSW, CAADC, CTRP, director of behavioral health (Moderator)
  • Holly Sanders-Cobb, LMSW, CTRP, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Gabi Mueller, LMSW, CTRP, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Anthony Allen, resilience coach & trainer

Session Description:

In this panel discussion, a team of Starr professionals will discuss reasons families may come across as resistant to engagement and explore what dynamics may be driving this resistance – to help participants identify what may really be happening.  The panel will also explore how to be curious and empathic with families, in addition to the systemic issues that cause resistance to services.  

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand how to engage families effectively
  • Recognize the systemic issues that create barriers for effective engagement
  • View families in a holistic and empathic manner, to increase access to care and understanding of barriers.

Presenters:

  • Sarah Gariepy, Starr Behavioral Health occupational therapist
  • Jenny Sloan, Starr Behavioral Health senior therapist

Session Description:

In this session, we explore adapting strategies for engagement and treatment with young children from zero to six years old, over the telehealth platform. We discuss the unique and effective characteristics of the tandem approach to “co-treatment,” which enhances the developmentally-appropriate, play-based approaches we know help our young children heal. In this session, we include recorded demonstrations of some activities conducted over telehealth, to assist participants with understanding how the developmentally-informed strategies appear in practice. 

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Enhance their knowledge of child development, and integrate their theoretical approaches to engaging via the telehealth platform.
  • Adopt and develop at least three new strategies to engage their clients via telehealth.
  • Evaluate their own historical journey of “play” – and explore how their experiences as “players” informs their approaches with play-based, developmentally-informed interventions.

Presenters:

  • Katie Carpenter, campus operations and programs specialist
  • L. Kathryn Hart, senior trainer and program consultant

Session Description:

In this session, we will discuss how to have courageous conversations with our co-workers. We will break down the term “Feedback” and discuss the stigma attached to it and how this stigma prevents us from empowering one another to grow professionally. We will discuss the components of and how to have a courageous conversation not only with a co-worker, but also with a supervisor or administrator. 

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand when to use a Courageous Conversation
  • Understand how to have a Courageous Conversation
  • Understand the importance of courageous decision making

Presenters:

  • Christi Barrett, Glasswing Racial Healing trainer
  • Ken Ponds, Glasswing Racial Healing trainer

Session Description:

In the United States, people are strongly divided on many issues. And though there is not universal agreement on the specifics, the majority of Americans believe that relations between the races are bad (Pew Research Center 2019). The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing police brutality toward Black Americans have highlighted the differing experiences of White and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) people in this country. This session will focus on the pandemic, police brutality, white privilege, white supremacy culture, and the trauma and grief that result from the current reality. The presenters will also discuss what can be done by individuals and within organizations to ensure that both employees and those they serve experience full diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Realize the current issues facing BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) in the US.
  • Understand the historical roots of today’s polarizing issues.
  • Know what actions they can take to improve their own and their organization’s responses to these issues.
  • Gain knowledge about the right ways organizations can ensure diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Presenter:

  • Dominique Mason,  LLPC, CTRP-C - Starr Behavioral Health therapist

Session Description:

In this session, Dominique Mason will present new ways to support grieving children – regardless of the professional setting. She will introduce various loss experiences that cause grief reactions in children, provide tools to successfully identify and address such grief-related reactions, and review how loss can impact a professional’s relationship with their students/clients.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the meaning of grief and loss.
  • Identify behaviors associated with the grief experience and how to support children who are experiencing grief and loss.
  • Recognize your grief experience as a teacher or clinician.
  • Contextualize COVID-19’s impact on grief and loss understand what this means moving forward

Panelist:

  • Cae Soma, PsyD, LMSW, ACTRP, chief clinical officer (Moderator)
  • Holly Sanders-Cobb, LMSW CTRP-C, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Gabi Mueller, LMSW, CTRT, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Amy Swis, LMSW, CTRP, school social worker (Lincoln Park Public Schools)
  • Andrew Stewart, LLMSW, CTRP, school social worker (Lincoln Park Public Schools)
  • Victoria Meyring, LMSW, social worker (Children's Hospital of Michigan)

Session Description:

In this panel discussion, the group will explore how to effectively collaborate across systems.  Panel members include school professionals, health care professionals, and clinic staff, and each will examine the ways Starr and local partners have built partnerships for success to wrap around children and families and provide the best care possible.  

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • See why partnerships and collaboration are essential in trauma-informed care.
  • Understand how to build partnerships and referral processes that work for your agency.
  • Know how to view families in a holistic manner to increase access to care and understanding of barriers.

Presenter:

  • Jenny Sloan, LMSW, CTRT, senior behavioral health clinician

Session Description:

This session, presented by Jenny Sloan, is designed to assist helping professionals with identifying risks of suicide among children, adolescents and adults – and provide strategies to foster precaution and contribute to prevention. Participants will increase their understanding of suicide as a public health crisis in the United States prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the impact the pandemic has had on rates of suicide and other related, life-threatening conditions. Participants will learn how to connect individuals at risk with the most effective resources, and become familiar with the most effective risk assessments and protocols utilized across settings. Finally, participants will be provided key resources to craft an actionable skill set that shifts awareness into activism, as agents to bring this crisis from an imminent to a preventable reality.

Learning Objectives:

  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of the distinctions between suicide and non-suicidal self-injury.
  • Identify 4 risk factors and 4 protective factors for those who are at risk of suicide.
  • Identify 3 myths about suicide and why they are false.
  • Identify at least 3 identity groups who may be vulnerable to the intersectional risk of suicide.
  • Describe 4 ways LGBTQ youth can cope with anxiety and stress during COVID-19.

Presenters:

  • Katie Carpenter, MA, CTRT, campus operations and programs specialist
  • Erin Madden Reed, ACTRP, CTRT, RYT-500, well-being, healing, and resilience educator

Session Description:

Participants attending this session will learn how to support their colleagues with shifting their mindsets with regards to trauma-informed and resilience-focused practices. This step can be one of the most critical steps for making lasting changes within an organization. Mindset shift is also the most difficult step for many people. This session will provide opportunities for professionals to learn about the change continuum and how to assess and support this journey of mindset shift.  

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Gain a deeper understanding of change responses 
  • Develop at least two strategies to apply to mindset shift
  • Possess the skills for utilizing a tool to assess where individuals are in the response to change

Presenters:

  • Holly Sanders-Cobb, LMSW, CTRP-E, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Gabi Mueller, LMSW, CTRT, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor

Session Description:

How do we create safety while empowering survivors and their families to make decisions that affect their day-to-day lives? Domestic violence is a challenging issue that faces families, schools, practitioners, and communities. In this session, we will address the impact of domestic violence in communities and provide concrete tools to empower survivors and their families to stay safe in clinical, school, and community settings.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify power and control tactics that affect survivors and families in an abusive relationship.
  • Utilize a screening tool to identify potential survivors in school and community settings.
  • Partner with survivors and their family to identify risks and develop safety plans.

Presenter:

  • Will Weeks, BA, CTRC, CTRT, Starr resilience coach and trainer

Session Description:

In this session, Will Weeks will share with educators and school professionals how to effectively implement practice-based, resilience-focused, social emotional tools and strategies for students, grades K-12. As Starr’s “original resilience coach,” Weeks will share his years of firsthand experience and many lessons learned from the field on how to inspire students and their peers to continue to practice these powerful social emotional regulation skills, both within and outside of their school environment, and well beyond their K-12 education.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand stress and trauma’s impact on the brain and why stressed brains don’t learn
  • Recognize when and how to engage charged or dysregulated students, grades K-12, with a resilience-focused approach
  • Deliver life-long, self-regulation strategies to help students, grades K-12, cope with stress and trauma

Presenter:

  • Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, ACTRP, chief clinical officer

Session Description:

The experience of foster care often creates challenges for students and educators. This session will provide educators with information and strategies to help them best support their students in care academically, emotionally, and behaviorally. 

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the connection between foster care and education challenges. 
  • Identify at least three things not to say to a student who is in foster care. 
  • Name a minimum of three interventions educators might use to support the school experience for foster care students. 

Panelist:

  • Holly Sanders-Cobb, LMSW, CTRP-C, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Becca Gerlach, LMSW, CAADC, CTRT, director of behavioral health
  • Gabi Mueller, LMSW, CTRP, Starr Behavioral Health clinical supervisor
  • Erin Madden Reed, ACTRP, CTRT, RYT-500, well-being, healing, and resilience educator

Session Description:

This panel will explore how to engage in self-care to prevent burnout, diving into the various signs of burnout and how to seek support, as needed. The panelist will also explore boundaries that professionals need to maintain in order to avoid burnout and different strategies to process the stress cycle.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand what self-care is
  • Recognize the signs of burnout
  • Identify how to seek support and complete the stress cycle to avoid burnout

Presenter:

  • Jennifer Kortge, LMSW, ACSW, SSW, CTRT - Almont, Dryden, and Imlay City Schools social worker

Session Description:

March of 2020 set us all on new paths of adventure – including for some of us, the uncharted territory of the virtual world.   We have had to become courageous in exploring new areas of independence and mastery for ourselves, using technology to reach our students and clients and find ways to maintain both their and our own critical sense of belonging.  In this session, you will learn about one creative and very personalized way you can use technology to support your students and clients even when moving back-and-forth between in-person and virtual settings.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • See the possibilities in using technology to support resilience – even for those of us who feel technologically challenged. 
  • Access tips and tricks to create your own virtual calming corner or virtual resource tool.
  • Find/Utilize Starr resources to support and personalize your own creation.

Presenters:

  • Candace Pendergraft, CTRT, ACTRP, healer, reiki master, intuitive alignment coach, and owner of The Light Garden
  • Erin Madden Reed, CTRT, ACTRP, RYT 500, well-being, healing, and resilience educator

Session Description:

This session will introduce you to the impact that living in a society based in white supremacy culture has on the experience of safety, belonging, and connection in relationships. Participants will be introduced to the 5 shifts for Transformation and how these shifts can be applied in any relationship or self-reflection to create space for growth, healing, and transformation.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Define equity and inclusion.
  • Define each of the 5 shifts.
  • Provide examples of each of the 5 shifts.
  • Understand racism as an experience of trauma.
  • Increase awareness of socially accepted aspects of white supremacy culture that occur in education and healing environments.
  • Apply some of the 5 shifts to issues of racialized trauma and healing relationships.
  • Build capacity for reflection and stamina for ongoing engagement with issues related to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Presenter:

  • Dr. Stacey Levin, director of research and evaluation

Session Description:

Starr’s theory of change is that when trauma-informed and resilience-focused adults work within trauma-informed and resilience-focused systems, the wellbeing and success of children will increase. This theory is the foundation of Starr’s work and is used to benchmark a school’s progress towards building a trauma-informed, resilience-focused learning environment. This session dives deeper into the evaluation process and the role that collecting data and monitoring progress plays in a school’s transformation. Intended for a wide audience (including administrators, teachers, program evaluators, counselors, interventionists, school board members, school behavioral health professionals and the like), this session provides an overview of evaluation practices, how to use results to make informed decisions that improve a school’s efforts in implementing trauma-informed, resilience-focused care, as well as how to present outcomes to various stakeholders. 

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role that collecting data and monitoring progress plays in school transformation. 
  • Identify the steps involved in evaluating a school’s implementation of trauma-informed resilience-focused practices. 
  • Build awareness of trauma-informed, resilience-focused evaluation practices such as using equitable data practices, creating easily understandable reports accessible to a wide audience, and using clear data visualizations that best tell the data story. 
  • Recognize how to use results to make informed decisions about implementation efforts and program improvements. 
  • Understand the importance of sharing and presenting outcomes to stakeholders, funders, the general public, and state/federal agencies with integrity.

Presenter:

  • Dr. Caelan Soma, PsyD, LMSW, ACTRP, chief clinical officer

Session Description:

The experience of trauma among individuals involved with the juvenile and criminal justice systems is so prevalent, practitioners consider it universal. In this session, Dr. Caelan (Cae) Soma will present a call to action for all child caring practitioners to understand the connection between trauma, delinquency, and criminality.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Identify a minimum of three reasons why trauma is a predictor of criminality.
  • Discuss the impact of trauma on development often resulting in criminal justice involvement. 
  • Name a minimum of three interventions practitioners might use to mitigate the impact of stress and trauma and dysregulation. 

Presenters:

  • L. Kathryn Hart, CTRT, ACTRP, senior trainer and program consultant
  • Will Weeks, BA, CTRC, CTRT, resilience coach and trainer

Session Description:

In this session, we will review both traditional and resilience-focused ways to build strong student–staff connections in school environments. The content will touch on key strategies that educators can deploy to nurture trauma-informed discipline strategies in a manner that supports and fosters a sense of belonging in their students and learning environment.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successful completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and implement trauma-informed, strength-based strategies to connect with students in all learning environments
  • Support and enhance a student’s awareness of sensations and feelings
  • Identify when a student needs co-regulation and implement ways to support their regulation, in place of traditional and often counter-productive disciplinary strategies

Presenter:

  • Derek Allen, ACTRP, CTRT, chief operating officer and executive vice president

Panelist:

  • Derek Allen, ACTRP, CTRT, chief operating officer and executive vice president
  • Becca Gerlach, LMSW, CAADC, CTRT, director of behavioral health
  • L. Kathryn (Kathy) Hart, ACTRP, CTRT, senior trainer and program consultant
  • Erin Madden Reed, ACTRP, CTRT, RYT-500, well-being, healing, and resilience educator

Session Description:

To conclude Starr’s 2021 Virtual Conference, Derek Allen will reflect on some of the key themes highlighted throughout the conference sessions, the courage child caring practitioners (and the children they serve) continue to display in the face of adversity, and the many reasons to have hope as we return to better. Derek will then invite the panelist to join him to discuss various ways we can continue to “return to better” and create a world of universal hope, boundless love, and limitless success for all children.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Feel a greater sense of hope for the future of the children, families, and/or communities they serve
  • Understand various ways they can play an active role in our “Return to Better”
  • Share new perspectives for hope with students, clients, and fellow practitioners

As our team puts the final touches on our conference session line-up, we’d like to share more about the schedule for this year’s virtual experience – for your planning purposes. While minor adjustments may be made here and there, the virtual experience will flow as follows:

Session Start Time Virtual Room Monday
July 19
Tuesday
July 20
Wednesday
July 21
Thursday
July 22
Friday
July 23
7:00 A.M. (PTC)
10:00 A.M. (EST)
A - Session #2 Session #8 Session #14 Closing Remarks &
Expert Panel
B - Session #3 Session #9 Session #15 -
9:30 A.M. (PTC)
12:30 P.M. (EST)
A - Session #4 Session #10 Session #16 -
B - Session #5 Session #11 Session #17 -
12:00 P.M. (PTC)
3:00 P.M. (EST)
A Welcome &
Keynote
Session #6 Session #12 Session #18 -
B - Session #7 Session #13 Session #19 -

Why the addition of days? Like you, two of the many things we have learned over the past year are:

  1. “Zoom” fatigue is real
  2. Life and work keep going, even when you are attending a conference!

To give your eyes, minds, and bodies more time to recharge and reflect on all of the great conference content we have in store for you this year, and some longer breaks to check-in with your colleagues, kids, etc., we have:

  • Spread the content over more days (from 3 days to 5)
  • Reduced the number of session per day (from 4 timeslots per day to 3)
  • Increased the amount of time between sessions (from 30 minute breaks to 1 hour)

Curious about what you'll experience at Starr's 2020 conference? Relive select 2020 sessions by clicking below! The complete collection of 21 sessions is available on StarrPass, Starr Commonwealth's all-access streaming platform.

Relive the 2020 Conference

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